tv Public Affairs CSPAN November 13, 2012 5:00pm-8:00pm EST
at the moment. thank you. >> thank you, ibrahim. thank you, greg. before everyone leaves, please join me in a round of applause for both of our excellent speakers today. [applause] and i will add that greg's book, which again i highly captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> the u.s. house gavels in to begin their first bit of legislative work starting the lame duck session, four bills including on asthma inhalers and gavel back out when they finish to return for votes at 6:30 and
we expect them to swear in a number of members filling out the remainder of terms for the 112th congress. we expect those to happen during the upcoming votes at 6:30 this evening. the senate also in session today and they have been dealing with a bill drk working on rules to federal land to federal hunting and fishing and the house and senate committees getting under way this week. the intelligence committees in particular off the floor, the intelligence committee of the senate and the house will be meeting in closed session to look at the attack in libya in benghazi this week. tomorrow on c-span 3, we will be covering a hearing looking at the meningitis outbreak. that is tomorrow morning at 10:00 eastern, c-span 3. the president will be hosting a news conference. we do not know the time of the
news conference yet. this will be the first post-election news conference and we'll have live coverage. the president meeting today with several labor unions and liberal groups to talk about the economy and looming budget cuts and tax hikes this week in the nation's capital. this week on capitol hill, the house and senate and the leadership elections will be under way in both the house and senate side. we expect to hear from members throughout the day tomorrow about those leadership elections as well. the incoming freshman class for the 113th congress is in washington this week. democrats in that freshman class met with reporters today and that's one of the events we covered and you will find that in our video library at cspan .org. four bills and votes if requested coming up at 6:30 eastern. s.
1956. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: senate 1956, an act to prohibit operators of civil aircraft of the united states from participating in the european union's emissions trading scheme, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from florida, mr. mica, and the gentleman from west virginia, mr. rahall, each will control 20 minutes.
the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida. mr. mica: first of all, mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on s. 19356. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. mica: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mica: thank you so much, mr. speaker and my colleagues. welcome back. the congress is back in session today. i guess all people's property and welfare and everything else is now at risk, but i'm pleased to be here to help lessen some of that risk that is a threat which has been offered to the united states in the form of a european union emissions trading scheme. and the bill that i propose
today is s. 1956, which replaces a bill that was passed a year ago in october of 2011, and that's h.r. 2594. that's the legislation which i authored which basically does the same thing. and it prohibits or allows, again, giving the authority to prohibit the united states' aircraft and prapetors, commercial aviation from participating in the european union emissions trading scheme. let me take a minute and explain what this is. several years ago european union and some of the folks that are concerned honestly concerned about emissions that come from aviation, commercial aviation in particular, decided to come up with a scheme or a
plan to impose a tax on all aircraft. now, if this had been done within the confines of the european union, i don't think we would be standing here. but what they did was really go beyond the borders of the european union and so had a any aircraft entering the european union from another nation will be subject to emissions tax. and not when it reached the borders of the european union or their states but when -- and from where it departed. so this would be first of all counter to international agreements. it is also a tax had a they proposed to impose on us that is unfair in every way, violates national agreements that we've had, and it
unilaterally imposes this emissions trading scheme on all of the countries, including the united states. it would have a very damaging effect, first of all, because it does not do what it was set out for. the purpose of this is to try to limit or even compensate for emissions. and the scheme as proposed did neither. first of all, it would impose the tax on airlines that should be passed on to consumers so we have higher aviation taxes. secondly, when they collected the money, the plan was flawed in that the money was not in fact directed to compensate for emissions. it was basically a money and tax grab by european powers and not really accomplishing it. so to put a nice title on it,
they imposed a tax, again, unfair and against and in total violation of international law and u.s. sompt. so we have tried to work with the european union. as the chair of the transportation committee, we led a meeting here in washington with e.u. officials and sat down one floor below where i'm standing in march of 2011 and tried to resolve the differences. we actually led a delegation and went to brussels, headquarters of the european union, met in brussels in june and july of 2011. and tried to come to some agreement to resolve our differences on our matter. and we took our case as member of the united states congress
to the international civil aviation group in montreal that sets the policies and the standards for international aviation around the world. in fact in october of -- a year ago, before we introduced this legislation, we convinced i believe it was some 27 or 28 of the 35 of the governing body to vote in favor of our position we held which other nations also held and i think only a small minority of some of the european union coordinations in fact prevailed in that vote. so we succeeded in garnering international support, because
this isn't a tax that affects only the united states but it affects countries around the world. so we had many international partners who said this is unfair. it's not properly crafted. it lacked transparency and definition. in fact, when we sat with the european union counterparts, the parliamentarian, they could not define exactly what they were doing or how they were going to impose this. i think they're still at a loss because they don't have it completely settled. so there is some good news on the horizon. yesterday, the e.u. announced the postponement of imposing the emissions trading scheme to international flights until 2014. now, that's a temporary delay of imposition. they said they'd lead some of
the decisions up to icao, but icao does not set policy to the united states. we are a sovereign nation. we must again i think defend the position, our position, our sovereignty and concurrence with international trade agreements that have previously been agreed on. we got to hold people's feet to the fire in respecting also u.s. sovereignty. so that's how we've gotten ourselves into this fix. we have a temporary delay. maybe because this legislation is up today, but we must move forward. i think in giving the secretary of transportation and our officials the ability to -- unfair tax imposed on our carriers and that's exactly what this legislation does. we're not doing it by
ourselves. we have dozens of other countries that have expressed their opposition. so i rejoin again our colleagues, both democrat and republican in the committee, in bringing forward, again, this bill. it is again modeled after what the house passed in october of 2011. by passing this bipartisan, bicameral legislation that the senate has now passed, we are notifying the european union that we are mott going to support the scheme and -- not going to support the scheme and in fact we want a positive outcome. we want a long-term solution, but we will not allow the united states to be held hostage. the european union or any other nation or group of nations cannot hold us hostage on these
attacks on international flight issues. so we'll work with icao and we'll continue to work with the european union and others and in the meantime i ask my colleagues to support senate bill 1956, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time is reserved. the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. rahall: i rise in support of s. 1956, a bill to protect american's airline workers, passengers and airlines from an emissions trading scheme by the european union that flies in the face of the international community. in my view, the e.u.'s proposed emissions trading scheme is inconsistent with international aviation law and practice. additionally, airlines and labor groups oppose it because it will impose new and unjustified costs on the industry and destroy american jobs. rather than solving a serious
global problem, the emissions trading scheme has created an international distraction. along with 35 democratic and republican colleagues, i was pleased to co-sponsor a similar bill last year. as i said when the house passed the bill, reducing the aviation emissions is a goal worth pursuing. i do not think anyone disagrees on that. but the e.u.'s emissions trading scheme when applying to u.s. airlines is the wrong way to achieve the right objective. it goes against any international law and agreement and brings international regulators into our own airspace. the e.u.'s approach is not the way to find a global solution to a global problem. a large part of the international community rejects the e.u.'s approach. the united states has joined more than 20 other countries in signing two declarations pointing out the many fatal flaws in the emissions trading scheme and calling on e.u. members to rejoin ongoing work with the international civil airline -- civil aviation
organization. european leaders appear to be getting the message. just yesterday e.u. officials announced a one-year -- as long as a global deal is reached. the congress must enact this bill regardless to send a strong message to the e.u. that rather the international aviation organization is able to act on the e.u.'s timetable or not, the e.u.'s unilateral scheme is not the proper way to solve a global problem. this bill will protect u.s. airlines and all those who rely on them for travel and employment from the unjust effects of the emissions trading scheme. this bill directs the secretary of transportation to prohibit u.s. airlines from participating in the emissions trading scheme if the secretary finds that it is in the public interest. . ed bill also encourages the government to continue negotiating with the e.u. on a resolution. and it prohibits use of the
airport and aviation trust fund or any appropriated funds to pay fenlts to e.u. countries on behalf of airlines. it ensures that american taxpayers will not end up paying the bill for a counterproductive emissions scheme that causes more problem than it solves. i urge my colleagues to support this legislation and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida. mr. mica: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield six minutes at this point to the gentleman from wisconsin who chairs the aviation subcommittee in the house, mr. petri, six minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from wisconsin is recognized for six minutes. mr. petri: i thank my chairman. i rise in support of the bill before us, senate 1956, the european union emissions trading scheme prohibition act of 2011. in january, 2012, the european union began to unilaterally apply its emission trading scheme to all civil aviation operators landing in or departing from one of the e.u.
member states. just yesterday the e.u. announced it was going to postpone the application of the emission trading scheme on international operators until 2014. prior to that announcement, e.u. member states would have required international air carriers and operators to pay permission allowances and in some cases penalties for carbon emission starting in april of next year. while this postponement is a good first step, it is not a total withdrawal of this illegal scheme and therefore we must press ahead with this bipartisan legislation to ensure u.s. operators and consumers are protected. the e.u.'s emission trading scheme is legally questionable in a number of ways. first, it applies to the entire length of the flight, including those parts of the flight outside the e.u.'s air space. for instance, if a flight leaves los angeles to london, taxes would be levied not just for the portion of the flight over the ewe niletted kingdom
but also for the portions of the flight over the united states, canada and international waters. the european union's unilateral application of their emissions scheme onto u.s. aviation operators without the consent of the united states government raises significant legal concerns under international law, including violations of the chicago convention and the useu air transport agreement. there are also concerns that the emission trading scheme is nothing more than a revenue razor for the e.u. member states -- racer for the e.u. member states as there is no requirement that e.u. member states can use the funds for anything related. the e.u. emissions trading scheme will take money from the airline industry that would otherwise be invested in nextgen technologies and the purchase of new aircraft, two proven methods for improving environmental performance and for reducing emissions. airlines for america and air transport trade association
testified before our aviation subcommittee last year that the extraction of capital from the aviation system as enadviceaged under the e.u.'s emission trading scheme could threaten over 78,000 american jobs. this is unacceptable. but despite serious legal issues and ons -- objections by the international community, the european union is pressing ahead with its plans. in september, 2012, 21 countries, including the united states, signed a joint declaration against the e.u. emissions trading scheme in new delhi, india. the last year there have been several other multinational meetings of countries who oppose the scheme, including meetings that took place in russia and the united states. the bill before us directs the secretary of transportation to prohibit u.s. aircraft operators from participating in this illegal scheme. the bill also directs appropriate u.s. government officials to negotiate a worldwide approach to address aircraft emissions and to take
appropriate actions to hold u.s. civil operators harmless from the e.u. emissions trading scheme. the e.u. needs to slow down, carefully weigh its decision to include international civil aviation in its emissions trading scheme. a better approach would be to work with the international civil aviation community through the u.n. international civil aviation organization to establish consensus-driven initiatives to reduce airline emissions. i'm pleased to see movement on the part of the e.u. to work with international community at i.k.o. to seek a global approach to civil aviation emissions. while the post ponement for a year is a positive sign, it's not enough to ensure u.s. operators won't be negatively impacted by the trading scheme at some point in the future. therefore we're moving forward this bipartisan bill to ensure u.s. operators will not ever be subjected to the illegal european scheme. i urge my colleagues to support this bipartisan, bicameral
legislation, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from west virginia. mr. lahood: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield five minutes to the distinguished ranking member on the energy and commerce committee, the gentleman from california, mr. waxman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for five minutes. mr. waxman: thank you very much for yielding to me. mr. speaker, i rise in opposition to the bill. a warmer planet has less ice, higher sea levels, more water in the atmosphere, more powerful storms, more frequent floods, dreier droughts and worse wildfires. two weeks ago hurricane sandy brought a powerful and tragic reminder that the combination of sea level rise and more powerful storms can be deadly, devastating and extremely costly. hurricane sandy was the only -- only the latest and most dramatic in a series of extreme
weather events. over the past two years we've had recordbreaking temperatures , the worst drought in 50 years , major floods, numerous tornadoes and thunderstorms and vast wildfires. this is what global warming looks like. and if we continue to ignore it it will soon look far worse. we should be doing all we can to reduce carbon pollution and slow global warming. but this bill instead tries to stop efforts to reduce carbon pollution. specifically the bill targets the european union's requirement that airlines modestly reduce their carbon pollution. aviation is a significant and fast-growing source of carbon pollution and talks on an international agreement to control this pollution have
languished for over a decade. so since nothing was happening for 10 years, the european union acted to require that for the price of only a few dollars a ticket, just a small fraction of the fee that the airlines impose on consumers just to pay for their bags going on the same airplane, that this amount of money be imposed unless the airlines can reduce the contribution to global warming. these environmental requirements are no more a violation of national sovereignty than the aviation safety and security requirements imposed overseas by the united states or the taxes on aviation imposed by our nations. everyone, including the european union, agrees it would be better to address this issue from an aviation -- from a
global basis. rather than through regional requirements. last week international negotiations made progress in developing such an alternative to the e.u. requirements. in response to the european union announced yesterday that it auto -- that it would delay enforcement of the aviation requirements for a year, to create a positive atmosphere and facilitate progress on global alternatives. so that makes the third bill unnecessary. the airlines now do not have to comply with the e.u. requirements for at least a year and a half. this bill is counterproductive. it would respond to the european union's concessions by enacting a retaliatory measure which will undermine rather than advance progress toward an agreement. there are other serious problems with this bill.
the bill directs the secretary of transportation, if he finds it in the public interest, to bar u.s. airlines from complying with the e.u. requirement to control carbon pollution. it also directs the secretary to hold the u.s. airlines harmless from the requirements. so if we bar the airlines from complying, they will incur steep penalties estimated at over $20 million by 2020, and the bill then says, the government's going to have to hold the airlines harmless from this cost. so that means the taxpayers may be on the hook for over $20 billion, although the bill also limits the use of appropriated funds. or the whole harmless provision would force the secretary to use existing authority to require european airlines to
pay the fees to compensate the u.s. airlines. so rather than do something constructive about global warming, we're going to ignite a trade war with the europeans. we ought to be working with them, in an international context, to do something rather than punish them, if they punish us and have the taxpayers pay the bill because the europeans have waited 10 years for an international agreement and nothing has happened. i ask unanimous consent for -- i ask the gentleman for 30 seconds. mr. lahood: i give the gentleman another 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for an additional 30 seconds. mr. waxman: so even if you oppose the e.u. aviation requirement, this bill makes no sense. it's unnecessary, it's counterproductive. as the european union just agreed to delay the requirements targeted by the bill. it also risks taxpayers' dollars, threatens to provoke
an international trade war, it jeopardizes u.s. national security. i urge my colleagues to oppose this unnecessary and misguided bill and i thank the gentleman for the time and yield back whatever time i may have. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida. mr. mica: mr. speaker, may i just inquire as to how much time on each identify? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has 6 1/2 minutes remaining. mr. mica: how much on the other side? the speaker pro tempore: 11 1/2 minutes remaining on the other side. mr. mica: let me take two minutes. i'll yield myself two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: zwrat is -- the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. mica: thank you. i have the greatest respect for mr. waxman and his leadership on many issues and some of them we agree on, both art lovers, we both have great wives. but i have to disagree with him on a couple of points. first, i'd have to disagree with him on some of the climate statements that he made. and i could spend the rest of the time debating that. but that's not what's before us. what's before us is legislation
that actually gives the administration and the secretary of transportation the authority and also the discretion to work on this issue. and if you don't have the backing of congress, how can he negotiate? he wouldn't have the authority or the discretion to impose some, you know, difference with the european union. you can't fold the united states here. now, the other point that was made by mr. waxman that we aren't working with them. well, we hosted them right here. we sat and talked to them. then we went to brussels. we sat and talked to them. then we went to ikea which helped settle these matters and set the standards in montreal, the international aviation authority, and when we left they voted 26-36 to agree with the united states. so in the international body
they were defeated -- they were defeated. this does impose a penalty and a tax on the united states. it's unfair. if it's within the european union, that may be their discretion to do it. but not from the point of departure in the united states into the european union or for that matter from any sovereign nation. and the money doesn't go to clean it up. i know mr. waxman loves the environment, so do i. but this money doesn't go for that purpose. it can be used for anything. it's not for engine technology, it's not for restoration of the environment. and it doesn't stop emissions. so this bill does represent a bipartisan, bicameral compromise. but it gives us the authority to hold their feet to the fire and get a solution. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from west virginia. mr. lahood: mr. speaker, the gentleman i am going to yield to now may be departing the congress after this session.
but we will still value his professionalism, his expertise and certainly his friendship for the very near and distant future. i'm happy to yield five minutes to the gentleman from illinois, the once chairman and now ranking member of our aviation subcommittee on transportation. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> i thank the gentleman, the running backing member, for yielding, and thank him for his kind words and friendship as well. mr. speaker, i rise in support of s. 1956, a bill that will protect u.s. airlines, their employees and passengers from an overreaching law of the european union that unfairly charges u.s. airlines for emissions in u.s. air space on flights between the united states and european. . mr. costello: the u.s. has taken a strong stance on the emission trading scheme. additionally, airlines and
labor groups also oppose it because it will impose an unjustified cost on the industry in destroying american jobs. i am pleased to note that just yesterday, as you've heard already, that the european leaders said they would suspend application of the e.t.s. to international flights for a year. pending a global agreement on the aviation emissions at the u.n. we must send a strong message to the e.u. that regardless of whether eye -- icao delivers on the timetable, the u.s. denies this bill. this bill was a bill i was pleased to co-sponsor, along with chairman mica, mr. rahall and mr. petri. this bill calls upon the department of transportation to
prohibit u.s. airlines were participating in the emissions trading scheme. this bill further protects our national interest by ensuring that both airlines and u.s. taxpayers are held harmless from the emissions trading scheme. i congratulate my friends, senators thune and mccaskill for having championed this legislation in the other body. this bill sends a strong message from congress that we do not support what the e.u. is doing. as i noted in our subcommittee hearing on the emissions trading scheme and again on the house floor when the house passed its own bill, climate change is a global problem that requires a global solution. working through icao, the united states is committed to finding a global solution to address aviation emissions based on consensus. i'm optimistic that the global agreement can in fact be reached. more than 20 other international partners have joined the united states in producing strong declarations, calling on the e.u. to come back to the table and to work on an international plan.
at the same time we must recognize that our own government and airlines are doing the right thing to reduce harmful carbon emissions. the f.a.a. and the airline industry are investing billions of dollars in the next generation air traffic upgrades and the f.a.a. plans to reduce emissions by 2% through these improvements. further, u.s. airlines improved fuel efficiency by approximately 110% since 1978. from 2000 to 2009, carriers reduced carbon burn by 15% while carrying 15% more passengers. next jen will help irk -- nextgen will cut the carbon emissions by more than 14 million tons by 2018. mr. speaker, i'm pleased to support this legislation. i urge my colleagues to support it and i yield back the balance of my time.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida. mr. mica: we don't have any further speakers on this side and i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida has no further speakers and reserves the right to close. the gentleman from west virginia, mr. rahall. mr. rahall: thank you, mr. speaker. just briefly in conclusion on our side, let me again reiterate the support that this legislation has. the airport council international, american society of travel agents, the transportation trading development, the afl-cio, independent pilots association among many other groups that have -- to resit rate what i said in my opening comments, the european union's e.t.s. will do nothing to decrease aviation emissions. the solution to decreasing aviation emission lies in an international agreement. currently progressing through the international civil
aviation organization that is slated for consideration october, 2013, at that body's triannual assembly. so with that i urge my colleagues to support the pending legislation and commend chairman mica and subcommittee chairman petri and our ranking member, mr. costello, for all the hard work that they put into this legislation and i yold back on this side -- yield back on this side. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. mica: i yield myself the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mica: thank you, mr. speaker. i urge my colleagues to pass s. 1956. this does represent an honest effort to fund the solution to deal with global emissions. they are a problem. we have tried to work with our european union counterparts.
again, we had meetings nonstop when this issue began. we went there and talked. we took it to the international body, icao. they voted 26-36 to side with the united states' position. but sometimes in this business you have to bring things to a head. now, we passed this a year ago with bipartisan support. mr. costello, mr. rahall, our side of the aisle. it was a little bit tougher measure that went -- than what has come from the senate. the senate did give discretion to the d.o.t. secretary and the administration to deal -- that they had both the authority and the discretion to act. so i don't think yesterday that the european union would have defered to akayo for a year if
we -- icao for a year if we hadn't pressed this. but we need to bring folks together of goodwill, find a solution, something that is fair. if we do want to clean up the environment and have people pay a penalty for polluting, then we should ensure that that money goes back into cleaning up the pollution or at least developing the technology or offsetting the damage that's being done. but the current scheme -- and it is a scheme -- where's the little definition of scheme that i have here. a systemattic plan of action, a devious plot. that is not what we need to do here. we do need to work together, find a solution that's fair for the sovereign nations and also accomplishes the laudable goal that we all set out to do. i'm glad i helped force the issue. i appreciate my colleagues joining in this effort, and i think this is a reasonable
bipartisan, bicameral solution that will accomplish the goal we set out for. so again i ask my colleagues to vote in support of s. 1956, and i'm pleased to yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. all time has expired. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass senate 1956. as many as are in favor will signify by saying aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 6371. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 6371, a bill to amend title 40, united states code, to transfer certain functions from the general accountability office to the department of labor relating to the processing of claims for the payment of workers who were not paid appropriate wages under certain provisions of such title. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from michigan, mr. walberg, and the gentleman from virginia, mr. scott, each will control 20 minutes. and the chair recognizes the
gentleman from michigan. mr. wahlberg: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks -- mr. walberg: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. walberg: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the bill before us will take a small toward greater efficiency in federal construction contracting. for more than 80 years, federal contractors have been required to pay workers the locally prevailing wage. additionally, since 1961, those same workers were entitled to 1 1/2 times of their basic rate of pay for every hour worked that exceeds 40 hours per week. while the department of labor is obligated to enforce these laws, the government accountability office has long been responsible for processing claims of workers being denied their appropriate wages. if the labor department
investigation determines that contractor has not been paid the appropriate wage, the names of the effected employees are sent to the g.a.o. by the department. the g.a.o. then ensures underpaid workers receive the compensation they are due. the g.a.o.'s responsibility in this process is purely administrative. the g.a.o. makes no determination on the merit of each claim nor does it have the authority to question the judgment of the labor department. in fact, the g.a.o. doesn't even directly deliver to workers their lost wages. instead, that responsibility is vested with the department of treasury. while claims processing was once routine business for the g.a.o., this authority has increasingly transitioned to the executive agencies charged with enforcing the law. such as the department of defense involving matters of military pay. additionally, personnel changes
within the g.a.o. are making it more difficult for the agency to meet their responsibility. key staff members have retired and more expected to do so at any time. the g.a.o. should not have to undertake this administrative burden any longer. h.r. 6371 will transfer this payment authority from the g.a.o. to the department of labor, thereby reducing unnecessary bureaucracy and ensuring workers receive their compensation in a timely manner. by reforming the claims process, we can remove redundancies and promote greater efficiency within the federal government. i urge my colleagues to support the streamlining claims processing for federal contractor employees act. before i conclude, i would like to take a moment to recognize a distinguished colleague who will soon be enjoying a well-deserved retirement. i wish she were with us this
evening, but travel arrangements don't always work out as planned. since 1993, representative lynn woolsey has proudly represented the people of california's sixth congressional district. her personal story has informed her work in public office as well as inspired many of her colleagues on capitol hill, myself included. i'd have the opportunity over the last two years to work closely with representative woolsey on the subcommittee of work force protections. and witnessed firsthand her passion for public service. while we may differ on a range of issues, no one can question her strong commitment to working families. i wish representative woolsey and her family all the best in the years ahead, and may they be long and filled with good health. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. scott: i thank you, mr. speaker. first, i'd like to associate
myself with the kind remarks about the gentlelady from california. she has had an excellent career in congress and has elected not to return and we will miss her and her advocacy for those most in need. mr. speaker, i rise in support of the legislation and i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. scott: mr. speaker, h.r. 6371, the streamlining claims processing for federal contractor employees act will transfer service responsibilities for overseeing and administering the davis-bacon act from the government accountability office to the department of labor. mr. speaker, i agree with the gentleman from michigan that this is a sensible and technical fix since the department of labor is responsible for many aspects of enforcing prevailing wage law. this change will allow for greater efficiency in the davis-bacon prevailing wage protection and will ensure workers are paid wages as
quickly as possible. we should always promote streamline and efficient government. that's why i'm particularly disappointed that this bill does not also transfer g.a.o.'s authority under the davis-bacon act moving that additional function would place more enforcement functions under one roof. mr. speaker, i support davis-bacon because it provides protections to contractors and subcontractors working on federally funded contracts. most obvious protection is it requires contractors and subcontractors to pay the prevailing wage, denying unfair competition to those contractors who underpay their employees. davis-bacon protections prevent government spending from driving down living standards, improve productivity on projects with prevailing wage applications, offset higher wages and furthermore better skilled workers attracted by the higher wages are likely to complete the jobs more efficiently than at higher quality work.
studies have shown that it produces 13% to 15% more value added from their work compared to workers in states without prevailing wage laws. . not everyone agrees with the underlying principles. davis-bacon act, however regardless of one's position of the underlying law, we can all agree that the law ought to be administered as efficiently as possible. that's why i rise in support of h.r. 6371 and thank the gentleman from michigan for introducing the bill. does the gentleman have additional speakers? >> mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. >> mr. speaker, i yield myself the remainder of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> mr. speaker, the american people expect us to do all we can to promote greater efficiency within the federal government. washington allocates hundreds of billions of dollars each year on construction projects. mr. walberg: affecting the
lives, workers and employers across the country. we should never allow unnecessary bureaucracy to squander taxpayer resources or stand between workers and the wages that they have earned. i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 6371, the streamlining claims processing for federal contractor employees act, and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. and all time has expired. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 6371. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the gentleman from michigan. mr. walberg: mr. speaker, i'd like to request a recorded vote.
the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman request the yeas and nays? mr. walberg: i do. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20 and the chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from mississippi seek rec mission? >> mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass bill h.r. 6586, to extend the application of certain space launch provisions through 2014. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 6586, a bill to extend the application of certain space-launched liability provisions through 2014. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from mississippi, mr. palazzo, and the gentleman from illinois, mr. costello, each will control 20 minutes and the chair at this time recognizes the gentleman from mississippi. plazzplazz mr. speaker, i ask -- plasplas mr. speaker, i ask -- mr. palazzo: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members have five days to extend their remarks and include extraneous material on h.r. 6586, the bill now under
consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. palazzo: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. palazzo: i want to begin by thanking members for their bipartisan support of this legislation. h.r. 6586 is a very simple bill. it ex tenledses for two years a commercial space transportation risk sharing and liability regime that was established by congress in 1988. with passage and enactment of the commercial space launch act amendments, the structure and the liability regime is modeled on the price anderson act that governs risk sharing for the nuclear power industry. there are several features of the commercial space launch act amendments. the one that is essential to d.o.d.'s debate is indemnifying commercial launch and operators against catastrophic losses suffered by the uninvolved public or third parties. since 1988 the office of commercial space transportation has licensed more than 200 commercial space launches and
three re-entries without any claims for federal coverage for loss of life, serious injury or significant property claims. the 1988 act was driven in part by the emergence of foreign launch services companies that were made competitive through government subsidies and preferential foreign national laws including indemnification. foreign launch companies continue to be competitors. if this program were allowed to lapse it would threaten our domestic market for commercial launches. as the cost of insurance would significantly increase. the office of commercial space transportation is part of the licensing and permitting mission, administering financial responsibility and risk sharing requirements. they calculate the required amount of financial responsibility based on the maximum probable loss of the license -- probable loss of the license and re-entry. in the event that there's a
catastrophic accident, the insurance's cost would be first in line. the government's liability would then cover claims above the insured amounts but not to exceed $2.7 billion. i also want to note that to trigger freal federal indemnification, the administration must submit a request to congress for claims in excess of insurance coverage and congress must in turn pass a separate appropriation bill to fund the request. responsibility for any claims above the federal cap would revert to the launch or re-entry operator. the space and you are a astronautics sub-- aeronautics subcommittee held hearings on this and the performance of the regime. administration and industry witnesses provided compelling evidence that indemnification for third party claims is needed to preserve the u.s. commercial launch market. i want to reiterate that the federal government's exposure is only for third party claims and only for amounts that exceed the maximum probable
loss determined by the office of commercial space transportation. mr. speaker, our commercial space launch industry needs this extension. while there are only a small number of commercial launches occurring today from domestic space ports, this is about to change. first nasa relies on commercial providers to carry cargo and eventually crew to and from the international space station. space-x has already flown its first mission to i.s.s. earlier this fall and together with orbital sciences corporation, these two companies are under contract to complete 20 cargo missions before the end of 2016. secondly, commercial man space flights, orbital and suborbital will require indemnification in order to launch from u.s. peyton space ports. while it's not clear when these types of services will begin, just like today's commercial communications satellite customers, launch operators will allow an indemnification regime for third party claims or the businesses at risk of
going offshore. i urge all members to support this legislation and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. costello: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. costello: mr. speaker, i rise in support of h.r. 6586, to extends the application of certain space launch liability provisions through 2014. first established by congress as part of the commercial space launch act amendments of 1988, the commercial space transportation risk sharing liability and insurance regime is a vital program for the commercial space industry. and has been extended five times since its original enactment. the current extension expires on december 31 of this year. so it is important for congress to act now. so that there's sufficient time for it this legislation to make its way to the president before the current authority expires. under the current three-tier
regime, commercial space launch providers are required to purchase third party liability insurance to compensate for maximum probable losses from third party claims, up to a level of $500 million. for claims above those maximum probable losses the u.s. government may pay successful liability claims up to $1.5 billion. above that insured level. subject to funds being appropriated by congress for that purpose. finally, for successful claims above the government, indemnification, the launch providers assume responsibility for payment. this risk sharing regime has been vitally important for the development of a commercial space launch industry in the united states. moreover, to date the regime has not cost the u.s. government a penny in third party claims. however, i would be remiss if i did not note some concerns about the program in its current form. congress has not updated the program since its inception in 1988. this has resulted in an increased liability exposure
for the u.s. taxpayer and that exposure grows every year. i am concerned that taxpayer liability exposure is growing at the same time the industry and its associated insurance market is maturing. one would tend to think that the opposite should be the case. i hope that we can begin to address these issues before the next extension is necessary in 2014. i want to thank chairman hall and subcommittee chairman palazzo for working with us on this bill and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from mississippi. mr. palazzo: mr. speaker, i yield three minutes to the gentleman from texas, the chairman hall of the science, space and technology committee. mr. hall: i thank very much. mr. speaker, i of course rise in support of h.r. 6586, to extend the application of certain space launch liability regimes. and i thank chairman palazzo and jerry costello.
everybody's hoping that the house won't be divided, that we're all going to work together. this is a good chance to show them that we are all together on a good bill. commercial launch in the united states is a very enviable record. our records are highly reliable. space x has flown two rockets to the international space station and returned two pay loads, the first commercial company to successfully re-enter pay load from space. and the very next two months, orbital sciences corporation is scheduled to launch its new rocket that's designed to carry cargo to the space station. no matter these successes, our industry faces very serious pricing challenges from foreign operators. they're able to offer substantially cheaper launch costs because of industrial policy and less expensive labor
costs. they also offer indemnification coverage and reportedly the government accountable office stated that, and i quote, the united states provides less total third party liability coverage than china, france or russia. the primary countries that have conducted commercial space launches in the last five years . as chairman palazzo mentioned a few minutes ago, commercial launch activity in the united states is expected to pick up in the years to come. first through nasa 'reliance on commercial launch companies to ferry our cargo and astronauts to the international space station, and second, through the introduction of human space flight services. the bill before us would ex tenleds the indemnification regime for two years to december 31, 2014. it's important that we pass this bill to ensure that we do not jeopardize the ability of nasa to get cargo flights to the space station or inhibit
our commercial launch operators' ability to compete for future pay loads. the committee on science, space and technology will continue to monitor the activities of the office of commercial space and certainly the evolving space launch market to ensure that the current risk sharing and liability regime, including indemnification is properly structured. i thank mr. palazzo and i thank mr. costello for sponsoring and supporting this bill and i urge all members to support it. i yield back the balance of my time and thank you. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman from illinois reserve his time? mr. costello: we reserve our time, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois reserves his time. the gentleman from mississippi is recognized. mr. palazzo: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from texas, mr. smith. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. smith: mr. speaker, i thank the chairman for yielding and, first of all, i do want to thank the chairman of the space subcommittee, steve palazzo, for bringing this must-pass
legislation to the floor today. i also want to thank my friend and colleague from texas, ralph hall, the chairman of the science committee, and the professional staff of the committee for shepherding this bill and getting us to the point where we are now. last june the space and aeronautics subcommittee heard testimony on why government indemnification for commercial rocket launchers must be extended. at that hearing the aerospace industry association said it best about why this indemnification is needed. quote, many foreign launch providers competing against u.s. companies are already benefiting from indemnification rules. for example, the european company is required to purchase insurance up to $60 million euros, roughly $75 million. any damages above this cap are the guaranteed responsibility of the french government. we cannot afford to drive away highly skilled technical jobs to foreign countries where the regulatory framework provide better critical risk management tools.
lastly, a nonrenewal could impede new u.s. entranls to the commercial launch market, discourage future space launch innovation and entrepreneurial investment. without a level playing field for competition, new u.s. entrants could find it highly undesirable to begin their business ventures in the united states. . end quote. . this has been in place for 20 years benefiting the commercial space industry. the bill before us would extend indemnification for two more years and address a longer term legislative solution when reauthorization next year. mr. speaker, i thank the chairman for yielding me time and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois continues to reserve? the gentleman from mississippi is recognized. mr. palazzo: i recognize the
gentleman from from california three minutes, mr. rork. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. rohrabacher: i would like to thank chairman hall for the great leadership he has provided to our committee and also to mr. costello, who will be leaving us voluntarily, leaving this body, and he has done such a fine job. both of these gentlemen deserve accolades for the wonderful job he has done for american space and science programs and our country as a whole. i rise in support of h.r. 6586. it extends the commonsense limitations on liability exposure for commercial space launches. a few years ago when i was the chairman of the space and aeronautics subcommittee, the f.a.a. was directed to provide
an ongoing analysis of the rationale for four and potentially unintended consequences of this indemnification provision. according to the analysis, the two options before us then were to extend this liability provision, which has never cost the american taxpayer a dime or option number two, through unintended or though unintended would be to give a competitive advantage to china and other foreign-launch providers. this, of course, is the same choice we are making today. and if we give foreign rocket companies such an advantage, then we are costing american jobs while undermining our national security. back in 2004 i authored the current regulatory regime for human space flight which has
worked well beyond our expectations. recently in cooperation with our majority whip, mr. mccarthy, and my friends on both sides of the aisle, we extended that regime as the science committee's part of the recent f.a.a. re-authorization bill. it would be very tempting to try to revisit that regulatory issue or some other provisions would this legislation. so i would like to thank chairman palazzo for authoring a bill that asks the critical question before us, do we spend launch indemnification or do we hand it over to foreign competitors. the choice is clear, the answer is clear. america must remain the space-going nation, which means we need to pass h.r. 6586. and i ask my colleagues to join me in supporting this legislation. thank you. i yield back my time.
the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois. mr. costello: i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from mississippi. mr. palazzo: i have no further requests for time and if the gentleman's prepared to yield back, i'm prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has no further speakers. mr. costello: we have no further speakers on our side. i thank chairman hall as chairman of the committee. he is a wonderful person and done a great job chairing the full committee and he is one of the people that i'm going to miss the most here in this congress and my friend from california as well and from texas and chairman palazzo. with that, mr. speaker, i urge passage of this legislation and yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from mississippi. mr. palazzo: i have no further requests for time and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from mississippi yields back. all time has expired. the question is, will the house
pass the bill h.r. 6586. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative -- mr. palazzo: i object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and -- the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8, rule 20 and the chair's prior announcement -- before we get to that, let's say -- ok. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20 and the chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed. the chair will lay before the
house a communication. the clerk: the honorable, the speaker, house of representatives, sir, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on november 13, 2012 at 4:18 p.m., that the senate passed without amendment h.r. 4114, with best wishes, i am signed sincerely, karen l. haas. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until approximately
i think the rest of u.s. allies, turkey, they're afraid of getting involved in this conflict. the only pressure, i think, the most active countries right now are probably qatar and saudi arabia, which we believe are supplying arms to the free syrian army, to the rebels. the u.s. and turkey are actually doing some things, they have special forces along the border who are reportedly vetting to whom those arms get delivered so they don't get delivered into the most fundamentalist gee haw dee forces. i think it's unclear exactly what the status of that is right now. yfl that allies as it happened in libya and england sort of really took the bull by the horns and pulled the u.s. into action there. it doesn't seem like that is the case in syria. i think there's a fear that it could inflame the region and i think there's a degree of caution.
host: benjamin pauker is senior editor of "foreign policy magazine." we'll get to your calls in a minute. could there be foreign policy fallout in the benghazi attacks on libya? guest: i think there's a lot we don't know. this is one of those scandals that comes out in dribs and drabs. drip, leak, leak, leak. i think there is a sort of consensus that we want to know more. the american public wants to know more. certainly journalists do. there could be political fallout from it. this is a week where there's going to be a number of hearings on ben gaza. so both the house and senator intelligence committees were meeting. there is certainly, congressionally, the desire to hear more and hear more facts. there are big questions that are unanswered. both in the time frame of what happened in the attack, little
bits of information, but also in terms of whether the u.s. was ill prepared or naive in terms of providing security for ambassador chris stevens. any tragedy where an ambassador dies and three other americans, there needs to be an investigation. host: will in tennessee, independent caller, go ahead. caller: good morning, greta and good morning to our guest this morning. sure have enjoyed c-span and it's opened windows on all three branches of government. greta, i still say you're the mona lisa of c-span. i want to ask the gentleman a very important question about obama and new leadership in the next four years. it's something i think we all can say. obama has really taken a change in his nature, he is showing
this christian side to me. benjamin are you christian? host: why is that important? caller: because this nation, it's so important, we have to see that obama has an air of repentance. i think that it goes back to the old testament stripture when isaiah came upon king his kaija, he said this, get your house in in order every. -- in order. this night your soul will be required of the lord. before his kaija went out of that palace, the king was already in tears and repentance. heidi: we'll leave it there. benjamin, what did you hear about foreign policy?
guest: he can quote bible scripture better than i can obama has reached out to the muslim world. he has -- he came into office as a president holding two wars. and let's remember, he won a nobel peace prize. i think it's fundamental to his nature that he wants to sort of reach out to publics across the world and to present a different notion of america. i don't think that that is religion specific. i think that's across the board , his relationship with israel, his relationship with the muslim world. host: this is a "financial times" editorial today. rethink on drones after petraeus exit. general petraeus has been the master mind behind using deprones to go after al qaeda
in the horn of africa, etc. what has been the world reaction to these -- this type of mill tear strategy. guest: the administration has doubled down on thes you of drones. there are hundreds more than there ever were in the bush administration. there's clear security rationale for some of them. there are certainly issues. the administration's execity -- executive privilege in making these decisions. i don't think petraeus was the only person who has been the master mind. this has been -- there are many figures in the administration that feel strongly about this. i don't see the policy changing. but there is certainly a feeling in pakistan, especially, in the horn of africa and other places new york yemen, it was -- i believe it was the day of -- the day after, the morning after the evening of obama's victory, there was a drone strike in yemen. these calls are being made.
they're consistent. while maybe we can call them surgical strike, there are certainly casualties. i think it's a conversation that the administration is having internally. but there is, i think, an international public opinion and it's somewhat negative toward drone strikes. it's going to be coming down to the u.n. human rights scandal that's going to be forthcoming. host: here's a question, what about climate change policy with each of the foreign nations and what plans are they working on? guest: they didn't make a great deal of progress. there was the copenhagen summit, there was a lot of hope going into it but obama wasn't able to convince some of the emerging economies that they needed to make cuts to their emissions.
s that something we'll see as a second term issue but of course that's, i think obama needs to consider that with also the potential strictures that would place on the domestic economy. host: to ryan in new mexico. democratic caller. caller: thank you, c-span, for taking my call. we talked about syria and iran or pakistan or libya earlier in the show. i'm concerned about north korea. the son of kim jong il, i think he's allowing certain westernized foods and he's educated, so he's more westernized. do you foresee any, and i don't want to say relationship with north korea, but anything being done? i don't really see any
sanctions or any aggression from the obama administration on north korea. i know there are talks going on but specifically president obama dealing with 25-year-old kids, i believe, should be done. i think president obama could actually talk to him and maybe get back to the six-party talks. i would like to know your opinion on that. guest: i think that's a good question. you know, you mentioned the new leader of north korea, kim jong il's favorite son is now in power. i don't think there's a great deal we know about him. north korea is a famously closed society. and the obama administration's policy has been relatively consistent. there's certainly a fear of nuclear exploration. there's been shakeups in the north korea military now. wlorn that's an internal power strug, we don't know. "foreign policy" has done some
reporting on this, where one of the generals was purged an perhaps killed by mortar fire. in terms of six-party talks, those are ♪ been ongoing for a long time. perhaps that's something obama will bring to the table on his asia trip but there is, i think, a consistent policy that we want to prevent nuclear escalation in the region. i think it is true for all sides. obviously japan, south korea, china all figure into this, russia to some degree as well. we don't know about the new leader and his policies going forward. i think to suggest he would be a reformer and sort of a new voice for the north korea with -- korean people unlike his father, it's too early to say. host: from palm beach, florida. john. you're breaking up there. are you still with us? i think we have to move on. maybe ugh call back on a better
line. to paul in craig, arkansas, is that right, republican call her caller: no, ma'am, that's alaska. i'm -- i went to alaska and went to alaska and converted the republicans up here to ron paul. i'm a christian, i'm a vietnam veteran. i base my opinions on robert spencer's politically encorrect guide to islam and george washington's speech when he retired. what i'm getting at here is, according to spencer, you cannot deal with a muslim because islam is tied to -- is
not just a religion but a political movement. and you cannot deal with a muslim as an apostate because they'll make my treaty when they're in a disadvantage with you and then their religion tells them it's ok to turn around and break your word when it becomes advan tiges promote islam and kill the apostates. host: is there any truth to that in foreign policy when dealing with muslim nations? or muslim nations dealing with each other or other countries? guest: i think what's important here, we talk about the arab spring. this was in-- there was an indigenous push. and some of those movements
have potentially scary things. threst rise of the muslim brotherhood, some islamic fundamentalist parties that we don't have great relationships with. i think that can be a confusing thing but what obama has tried to do is reach out to the muslim world is to try to deal with these countries and talk to the electorate. so now we have an entirely different landscape. syria, we'll wait and see what transpires there. these are countries with legitimate democratic governments, some of them more moderate, some of them leading toward fundamentalists and they are fundamentalist governments. that's going to be a big challenge. host ks what's next for egypt?
guest: in terms of? host: in terms of its leadership. egypt, the other nation that you mentioned. guest: i think the big push forward in egypt right now is to establish some of the legitimatecy of democratic governance there. it was a rocky transition, certainly. after the incredibly uplifting moments in the square. it's devolved into a long and protracted conflict between the military, the muzz lem brotherhood, some secular parties, and there still isn't a clear governmental structure there. for the egyptians, i think, internally, it is -- >> watch "washington journal" daily at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. we take you back live to the house as members return for two recorded votes. the bill h.r. 6156, to authorize the extension of nondiscriminatory treatment, normal trade relations treatment
to products of the russian federation and require reports on the compliance of the russian federation with obligations as a member of the world trade organizations and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the house calendar and ordered printed. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, proceedings will resume on motions to suspend the rules previously postponed. votes will be taken in the following order, h.r. 6371 by the yeas and nays, h.r. 6586. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the motion of the the gentleman from on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: a bill to amend title 40, united states code to transfer certain functions from the general accountability office to the department of labor relating to the processing of claims for the payment of workers who were not paid
appropriately -- appropriate wages under provisions of such title. the speaker pro tempore: will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the chair lays before the house communications. caller: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir, i have the honor to transmit here with a scanned -- heres can with a scanned copy of a letter from the director of elections, department of state, state of michigan according to the unofficial returns of the special election held november 6, 2012, the honorable david kirsten was elected representative to congress for the 11th congressional district. the speaker: the clerk will suspend. the house will be in order. members will please take their seats. we will not proceed until the house is in order. the two gentlemen from florida standing in the aisle, please take your seats.
caller: with best wish, i am signed sincerely, karen l. haas, clerk. the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir, i have the honor to transmit herewith a letter indicating that according to the unofficial returns of the special election, the honorable suzan delbene was elected to the congress first congressional district of wisconsin. the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir, i have the honor to transmate herewith a facsimile copy of a
letter received from the director of elections and administration, office of the secretary of state, state of kentucky, indicating that according to the unofficial returns of the special election held november 6, 2012, the honorable thomas massey was elected representative to congress for the court congressional district, state of kentucky. with best wishes, i am, signed sincerely, karen l. haas, clerk. the speaker: the house will be in order. the house will be in order. for what purpose does the gentleman rise? >> i have unanimous consent requests. i ask unanimous consent that the gentleman from michigan, the honorable david curson be prevented to take the oath of office doctor be permitted to take -- permitted to take the oath of office today.
his certificate of election has not yet been -- not yet arrive bud no question or contest has been raised as to his election. the speaker: for what purpose does the gentleman from washington, mr. dicks, rise? mr. dicks: i ask that the gentlewoman from washington, the honorable susan -- suzan delbene be permitted to take the oath of office today. her certificate of election has not arrive bud there is no contest. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman rise? >> i ask that the gentleman from -- unanimous consent that the gentleman from kentucky, mr. massey, be pever mitted to take the oath of office today but there's no contest and no question has been raised with regard to his election. the speaker: without objection, so ordered. will the representatives elect and the members of their respective delegations present themselves in the well of the house.
the speaker pro tempore: representatives-elect will please raise their right hands. and the house will be in order. do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies foreign and domestic, that you will bear true faith and allegiance to the same that you take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion and will faithfully discharge the duties upon which you are about to enter, so help you god. congratulations. you are now members of the 112th congress.
the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the house will be in order. the speaker: the house will be in order. the chair recognizes the dean of the house, the gentleman from michigan, mr. dingell, without objection. mr. dingell: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise to welcome my good friend dave curson to the congress of the united states. he has spent his life serving
his fellow man, first as a u.s. marine in vietnam and then as a representative of the u.a.w. and now as a member of distinguished body. he is first and foremost a family man. he has been married who his wonderful wife of 22 years, sharon. together with her, he has done an extraordinary job of raising two daughters and one son. they are lisa, katie and david, junior. i have no doubt that our good friend, david, will do a magnificent job representing the interests of the people of the 11th district. he can count on my support and that of my colleagues. and i hope that my colleagues will give him that courtesy. dave is a good man and the nation is fortunate that we have him here.
mr. speaker, at this moment, i yield to the distinguished the gentleman from michigan, mr. up ton, the dean of the republican delegation. the speaker: if the gentleman would suspend. the house will be in order. members will please take their seats. the gentleman may proceed. up up mr. speaker, i -- mr. upton:, mr. speaker, i wish dave curson a warm welcome to join this body. we have great members on both sides of the aisle. i will say from the republican perspective, i don't think any of us knew you before. we look forward to getting to know you in the next couple of weeks. we know you will be an active member and look forward to your service and getting to know you well. and we wish you the very best. at that point, i yield back to
the dean of the house, mr. dingell. mr. dingell: i thank my dear friend. and at this time, mr. speaker, i yield to my dear friend, our new member to our new member, dave curson, with my congratulations and good wishes. mr. curson: thank you, congressman dingell, it has been an honor to work with you. and thank you, mr. speaker and thanks to my new colleagues and thanks to all the guests. and thanks to my wife sharon, who has been my rock --
mr. curson: and my family who gave me the courage and the strength to get here and to all my supporters, the hundreds of volunteers and the many union brothers and ters who worked so hard to get me elected and to all the voters regardless of who lever they pulled, because they participated in this country's greatest right to freedom. i spent my entire adult life solving problems, but i'm the one man, the one i speak, you'll hear the voice of over a half a million voters of the residents who want a share of the american dream. and i know with the genius that works in this great hall, that we can achieve that goal and move this country forward.
i'm humbled and horpped to be a part of this distinguished group and i want to thank every one of you and i look forward to working with you. mr. dingell: mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. and the house will be in order. members on the back rail, please take a seat. the house will be in order. the chair recognizes the gentleman from washington, mr. dicks. mr. dicks: thank you, mr. speaker. it's a great pleasure for the
washington congressional delegation to welcome our newest member, susan delbene, who won not just one, but two. elected in the special election to finish jay inslee's term and also elected last week to be the representative of the newly configured first district in the 113th congress. she was able to successfully connect with voters because of her upbringing and her experience. and working her way through college, she earned a bachelor's agree from reed college in portland and m.b.a. have the university of washington. following her academic work, susan had a very successful career at microsoft and two high-tech startup companies and director of the washington department of revenue. she is a high energy person,
someone who will work well with our colleagues here in the house of representatives. i yield to the gentleman from washington, 4th congressional district, chairman of the natural resources committee, who joins me in welcoming our newest member. mr. hastings: let me be the first here in this post-session of congress, this is the last session that mr. dicks will be serving and he will be missed and we will miss you here. >> thank. mr. dicks: thank you. mr. hastings: when somebody leaves, somebody new comes in.
i welcome you to our washington caucus. while we are a diverse state, we have found on issues that we agree on, we work very, very well together and we look forward to working with you and i know this is not your first run here. i congratulate you more on the second run than the first run. but welcome to the congress and i yield back to my friend. mr. dicks: i yield to susan delbene to address the house. ms. delbene: i want to thank congressman dicks and congressman hastings for the very kind introduction. it's a great honor to be here. mr. speaker, leader pelosi, the members of the washington delegation and the members of the 112th congress, it's truly an honor for me to be here with you today. i would like to thank all those who supported me throughout this journey, in particular my
family, my husband kurt, who is up in the gallery. and my children, rebecca and zachary who are both off in college right now. i'm grateful to share this moment with them. it's a great privilege to represent the people of washington's 1st congressional district. i'm honored to be able to be given this opportunity by the voters of western washington and i truly appreciate their support. i'll work very, very hard to serve them well. i look forward to working with all of you and i'm honored to serve alongside the members of the washington delegation. i look forward to get to work right away. thanks again. i appreciate all of your support. i yield my time.
the speaker: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the house will be in order. the chair recognizes the gentleman from kentucky, mr. rogers. mr. rogers: thank you, mr. speaker. i have the distinct honor and privilege of representing the kentucky delegation as we welcome our newest member, thomasey, from lewis county, kentucky. thomas earned two engineering degrees from m.i.t. and founded a tech company based on his invention that made computers
easier to use, raised over $32 million of venture capital, created 70 jobs and 24 patents and came home to a farm in kentucky to raise his family. 10 years ago, he and rhonda, his high school sweetheart, moved back home to kentucky to raise their four children, where they live on a farm in rural lewis county, kentucky. but you can't keep a good man down. he wanted to be of service to the public and he ran for the county executive's job in lewis county, on the ohio river. and of course, won that race. that was in 2010. and now we are honored to present to you, in a minute, the newest member of the kentucky delegation, representing the 4th congressional district. before i introduce tom, let me
turn to mr. yarmouth from the 3rd district. mr. yarmuth: i appreciate that opportunity. from those of us, kentucky always comes first and i appreciate this opportunity to welcome thomasey and his family to the house of representatives. and also to the kentucky delegation. tom has very big shoes to fill. he steps in the shoes of gev davis who served the 4th congressional district and he represents 20,000 of my former constituents and 15.5 holes of a golf course he now holds in his district. i welcome thomas and his family and thank them for their service in advance. congratulate them on their election and also invite tom to join the congressional bourbon
caucus which is one of the most popular caucuses in the congress. i yield back to my colleague, mr. rogers. mr. rogers: i thank the gentleman for yielding. it's migrate pleasure to recognize and yield to the newest member of the kentucky delegation, thomas massie. mr. massie: i would like to recognize the great service of geoff davis for his service for the state of kentucky. he served us well. thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, chairman rogers, for the introduction. tonight, i have in the gallery, my family. my grandmother is here, my
mother is here and my four children, but most of all, my wife rhonda is here. mr. massie: i need to thank them for their love and support. i'm honored to represent the great people of kentucky's 4th congressional district. i have been a staunch defender of the constitution and unwavering advocate for freedom and responsibility. i look forward to working with all of the members of this house of congress to advance these great american principles. thereby ensuring a prosperous future for our country. thank you and may god bless america.
the speaker: under clause 5d of rule 20, the chair announces to the house that in light of the administration of the oath to the gentlewoman from washington and the gentlemen from kentucky and michigan, the whole number of the house is now 433. the speaker pro tempore: the unfinished business is the question on suspending the rules and passing --
the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house the following personal requests. the clerk: leaves of absence requested for mr. cicilline of rhode island for today and mr. reed of new york for today and wednesday, november 14. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the requests are granted.
the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. member rbs requested to take your conversations from the floor, to clear the well, clear the aisles and if you prefer to remain in the house chamber, to take your seat. the unfinished business is the questionen suspending the rules and passing h.r. 6586, which he the clerk will report by title. the clerk: h.r. 6586, a bill to extend the applications of certain states through 2014.
the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill? those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirm ty, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and wobs the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. -- and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the chair is prepared to entertain requests for one-minute speeches as soon as the house is in order. the speaker pro tempore: members are asked to clear the floor, the well, and the aisles. if you prefer to remain in the chamber, please take your seat.
the speaker pro tempore: the chair is entertaining requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose disease the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. poe: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. poe: it's been two months since terrorists murdered four people in ben fwawsee, lib yasm for two weeks, the administration claimed it was a
spontaneous protest in response to a movie but that was just charade. they knew within hours that a terrorist group was claiming -- was taking credit for the well-planned ambush and assault. a request for military help was made and denismed c.i.a. operatives were twice told to stand down enstead of helping the ambassador. why were the ambassador's calls for help, why did they go unanswered? the american people need to know this. what happened. why didn't the u.s. help the ambassador when he was urn attack? and why what individuals killed the ambassador? and what has the united states done to track these outlaws down, hold them accountable for this, yet another attack on 9/11. and that's just the way it is. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seebling
recognition? >> to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise to recognize a tremendous milestone in the tenth district of illinois in the chicago area. recently, the solomon scheckter day school of metropolitan chicago celebrated its 50th anniversary. founded in 1962 with only 15 students in its first class, it's grown to provide education to over 2,500 proud fwradge watts. mr. dold: as a school that generates general and jew day care study, it's promoted a love of learning and unique sense of community among students, paraphernalias, educators and volunteer leaders. scheckter students also forge valuable connections with students at a jewish day school that serves children with developmental disabilities. mr. speaker, i are ecently this school and was very impressed by the incredible work they do
in meeting the needs of the children there. but solomon scheckter is more than just a school. it's a community. the strength of which can be seen in the fact that over 700 people came to proudly show their support at its recent 50then versery celebration. i'd like to wish solomon scheckter day cool sco continued success in the future. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from ohio seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady is recognized. ms. kaptur: tomorrow i intend to bring to the floor foe tofse two american families who have been instrumental in helping bring over 100,000 americans who fought in world war ii to our nation's capitol for honor flight. i had the great opportunity this week, during a special gathering on this veterans day week thombing friends of the world war ii memorial committee, to meet these phenomenal americans.
earl morris and jeff smith have devoted so much of their private lives to bringing great joy to americans across this country. we should recognize them, we should thank them, we should remember. those of us who had relatives who fought in the military, those of us who appreciate those who have, on this veterans day week, let us give due credit to what brings us together as a people. our great sense of patriotism, our great sense of valor, and the appreciation we could give to those americans who helped to make the lives of others complete. mr. speaker, i thank you for giving me this moment to highlight what i will bring to the floor tomorrow. thank you to honor flight. thank you to the morris and smith families. thank you to the friends of the world war ii memorial. and thank you to all of our world war ii veterans. their families and descendants.
mr. speaker, i yield back my remaining time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from kansas seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from kansas is recognized. >> i rise to make note of an important week in the ongoing effort to renew our nation's economy. this is global entrepreneurship week. new entrepreneurs and innovators are key to putting americans back to work. with two of every three jobs coming from small business and 00% of net new jobs coming from companies less than five years old, these are the key to our economic prosperity. if they don't grow and expand, neither will our economy. . a gem of the midwest, the largest foundation is devoted to entrepreneurship. we know jobs aren't created by bureaucrats in washington, d.c., but by the innovators across our
nation. let's renew our efforts to support startups and entrepreneurs that take on risks to create jobs. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from texas seek recognition? ms. jackson lee: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. mr. speaker, thank you for your courtesies, there is so much that we can acknowledge and respect as we come back to work on behalf of the american people. i would like my colleagues to allow me for a moment to the raise the issue of the recognition of introducing a legislative initiative to award the congressional gold medal to the little girl in pakistan who had the courage to stand up against the heinous of the taliban. on october 9, 2012, she was shot and nearly killed by taliban
operatives because she advocated for educating girls in pakistan. and her shooting has sent shock waves to leaders around the world. taliban leaders remain unrepet ent. as she heals, they have continued to threaten her that she will be shot again. 61 million children worldwide are not enrolled in schools. pakistan is the second highest number of girls not attending schools in the world. as a co-founder of the congressional pakistan caucus, i urming my colleagues to sign on. united nations declared saturday, november 10, 2012 mal arch lmp arch day. i ask my colleagues to join me in recognizing this brave little girl who stands for the children of the world.
i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: are there further requests for one-minute speeches? seeing none, for what purpose does the gentleman from kansas seek recognition. mr. yoder: i ask that the house be adjourned. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have
>> good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. thanks for being here. i have a brief statement to read at the top which is that today the president was able to continue returning messages of congratulations from his counterparts around the world. each call he thanked his counterpart for their friendship and expressed his desire for close cooperation moving ahead. the president spoke with president karzai of afghanistan, the prime minister of italy, the king of jordan, qatar, president putin of russia, and the president of spain. with that i'll take your questions. >> a couple questions about the scandal that many of us are now covering, one specific and a bigger picture one. general allen we are learning more about skess about him and the pentagon investigation and alleged behavior does the president have faith that general allen can continue to lead the war in afghanistan. he's under investigation by the pentagon. >> can i tell you that the president thinks very highly of general allen and his service to his country. as well as the job he has done in afghanistan. at the request of the secretary of defense, the president has put on hold general allen's notion as supreme allied commander europe, pending the investigation of his conduct by the department of defense i.d. the president remains focused on fully supporting our extraordinary troops and coalition partners in afghanistan who general allen continues to lead as he has done so ably for over a year. meanwhile, the president has
nominated general dunford to be the next commander and reiterates his belief that the senate should act swiftly to confirm him, his hearings are this week. >> is it accurate to say the president has full faith in general allen? >> he believes he's doing and done an excellent job at isaf and i refer you to the pentagon with the process under way. >> to take a step back, it's been only a week since it came out, we have seen the c.i.a. director resign under pressure in the disgrace of the scandal. we have not seen the -- we have seen the leader of afghanistan implicated in this. what's the president's reaction to this? is he disgusted? embarrassed? what should we know here? >> well, the president was certainly surprised when he was informed about the situation regarding general petraeus on thursday. he greatly appreciates general petraeus' remarkable service to his country, both in uniform and at the c.i.a. and as he said in his statement, his heart -- his thoughts and prayers go out to both general petraeus and holly petraeus at this time. he's focused on his policy agenda. and he has confidence in the acting director at the c.i.a. and he has confidence in the military to carry out the various missions that he has asked them to carry out. on specific individuals and matters pertaining to the recent revelations, i would refer you to the pentagon and the i.g. on the one hand and to the f.b.i. with regards to general petraeus. >> he's not -- big picture watching, he's not shaking his head saying, guys, we need a more credible, competent sense of leadership? >> he's not going to make grand pronouncements or decisions about things based on two situations, two individual cases. he's focused on the missions that the military is tasked with
carrying out and the c.i.a. and the general intelligence community is tasked with carrying out and with enacting his overall agenda. which encompasses not just national security policy but obviously domestic policy. yes. >> jay, has the president spoken to general allen directly? >> not that i'm aware of, no. >> secretary panetta? >> i'd have to check that. secretary panetta has been traveling. >> as sort after follow-up, does the president see this in general as an unwelcomed distraction at a time when he's just -- was re-elected and has a bunch of priorities in terms of the fiscal cliff and his cabinet? >> i certainly i think wouldn't call it welcome. obviously the -- as i said to ben, the information about general petraeus came to him as a surprise, and he is very appreciative of general petraeus' remarkable service to
his country. the president is focused on the agenda he believes is important for this country. he has to carry out working with lawmakers here in washington. that includes his number one priority, which is jobs and economic growth. on the issues of the approach we need to take to ensure we have the right economic policy, the right fiscal policy to help the economy grow and help it continue to create jobs. he is also focused on his national security agenda. he has great confidence in the acting c.i.a. director. he has confidence in his military and the secretary of defense and defense department to carry out the missions that he's assigned to them. he's got a lot he wants to work on and is doing that this week.
>> how does that affect his need to advance his security team? >> these are specific questions about specific individuals and posts. i can say now even though you haven't asked that i have no announcements to make with regards to personnel. the president has not made decisions on personnel matters. and you will not hear me discuss them until the president has made those decisions and has announced them. >> these are two of the top military brass either involved in extramarital affair or inappropriate behavior, is the president as commander in chief all worried about a culture, inappropriate culture in the military?
>> i really would ask you to not extrapolate broadly. the president has great confidence in the military, great confidence in his commanders and will continue to have that confidence. with regards to the specific instances here, i think you need to address your questions to the justice department and the f.b.i. or the defense department. the president's focused on doing the work that the american people re-elected him to do. >> does the white house have reason to believe that national security was ever breached or threatened at any point in either of these instances? >> i think that questions like that which go to matters under investigation, i would refer you to the investigative bodies. the president is focused on the work that he needs to do.
again, i think there's been substantial reporting on some of this and the president spoke with general petraeus and agreed with his decision that he could no longer lead the c.i.a. and accepted his resignation. he has great faith in the acting director. and the president's focused on the agenda he wants to carry out. >> another topic, i know you are not going to address personnel matters. does the president have confidence, i know he's a big fan of susan rice, does he have confidence she could pass senate confirmation for any post in a future cabinet? >> i will not engage in speculation about personnel matters. can i tell you the president believes ambassador rice has done an excellent job and is grateful for her service. >> yes. >> this investigation has been going on for months. how is it the white house didn't have any idea of this until the day after the election and the congress a few days later? >> i would refer you to the f.b.i. they have, as i understand t. protocols in place for when they notify the legislative and executive branches of investigations. and it is simply a fact that the white house was not aware of the situation regarding general
petraeus until wednesday and the situation regarding general allen until friday. the f.b.i. is the place to go in terms of explanation of the protocols they follow. but i understand that that is the answer that they will give. that there are protocols they follow. that govern how they inform the various branches of government. >> do you understand how people would think this is utterly bizarre the day after the election and the anger you are hearing on capitol hill that this was going on? the timing, at least the appearance? >> all i can tell you is when the white house was informed. and i would let the relevant members of congress explain to you how and when they were informed.
my understanding is there are protocols that the f.b.i. follows in -- with regards to these kind of notifications and i would refer you to the f.b.i. and department of justice for an explanation of those protocols. again, the president is focused on the work that we have to do right now to help our economy go -- grow and help our economy create jobs. and there are obviously a whole host of other issues that are out there and that he and others have to contend with and he and others are doing that. but his focus right now is on working with congress to move this country forward economically. >> senator collins says that it is imperative that general petraeus testify in the hearings on benghazi. we have heard similar statements from senator feinstein. do you think it's appropriate for the former c.i.a. director to be testifying about what happened given that he was director at the time and given he's conducted his own review? >> i would say two things. one, it is up to congress to make decisions about who is
called to testify. but the president is confident that acting director morel is fully informed and capable of representing the c.i.a. in a hearing about the incidents in benghazi. >> am was door rice, if she were to go for confirmation hearing -- >> for you i'll break the hypothetical rule. >> if she were to go before a senate confirmation hearing, could she answer questions with a simple yes? are questions answerable? >> i'm not sure what you're asking. i'm not going to speculate about personnel matters and who will or will not be participating in
nomination hearings. i can tell you that the president believes that ambassador rice has done an excellent job as the united states ambassador to the united nations. and i believe that -- i know that he believes that everyone here working for him has been transparent in the way we have tried to answer questions about what happened in benghazi and going back to briefings that we had again and again that the information that we provided was based on the available assessments at the time and as those assessments evolved and became more detailed and clear, we provided additional information. and that was certainly true of the questions that i answered and the information that i provided and it was true of ambassador rice. >> we are going to see a lot of moving pieces on this chessboard. we also understand that governor patrick is maybe one piece.
he did have -- could you give us a read on that and we expecting his resignation as governor? >> i have nothing to say about hypothetical personnel moves. i can tell you as i think the other day the president and -- considers governor -- the governor of massachusetts a good friend. he has broken bread with him on numerous occasions in the past and i'm sure will in the future. i was not a participants in this particular meal but i'm sure that they had a discussion on a broad number of topics and enjoyed each other's company. >> just a friendly meeting? nothing strategic? >> i don't have a read out of
personnel dinner the president had. but they are friends. i would say, yes, a friendly dinner. >> jay, is the president satisfied with the explanation he's gotten from the f.b.i.? >> i'm not aware he's had a conversation with the director. i can simply tell you that the process -- when the white house was notified. >> is he satisfied how this has gone? >> the president was obviously surprised, but he -- as i think was made clear by the statement, that he put out, is very appreciative of general petraeus' service both in uniform and at the c.i.a., and as well as holly petraeus' service and wanted that to be made clear. there are protocols in place, as i understand it, and i haven't --
>> it sounds like you don't have an answer. >> i think it would be -- >> if he was satisfied -- >> i would certainly not suggest that the president is -- given that he was surprised that he, as i said before, pleased with the event of this past week, but the -- past several days, but the fact of the matter is there are processes in place to handle these kinds of things. they are playing out appropriately, and the president is focused on working with members of congress to enact an agenda that he believes the broad majority of the american people want enacted. >> it sounds like he doesn't like the fact that he was blind-sided? >> i didn't say that. i'm just saying that he has great admiration and respect for general petraeus. >> director mueller here. >> i understand that. i would refer as i said earlier process that is are in place as
i understand it at the f.b.i. for how they deal with notifications of investigations. i think that they are the best place to go for an explanation of those processes and procedures and why they are written the way they are and followed the way they are. all i can tell you is the actions that were taken here anti-notifications that happened here. and how the president has handled them. >> is the president concerned that this whole soap opera, scandal, slows down the fiscal cliff negotiations? makes it harder? makes it easier? >> i haven't heard him make a judgment or express an opinion on that. i think that the issues that confront us are important enough and consuming enough with regards to the so-called fiscal cliff and the budget that he expects that those who are engaged in conversations about it and negotiations about it will be as focused as he is and will be in the days and weeks ahead.
so we have very concrete deadlines that are governing some of the actions that we have to take. what we know is that on january 1, everyone's taxes go up. everyone in this room, everyone. around the country. unless the house passes the bill that the senate passed. which would extend tax cuts for 98% of the american people and 97% of small businesses, and the beauty of that partial solution to the fiscal cliff is that everyone supports it. everyone, democrat and republican. supports extending those tax cuts for the middle class, extending them for 98% of the american people and 97% of the small businesses. as you heard the president say on friday and as i know you'll hear him say when he meets with you tomorrow, this is a step that the white house -- that the washington can take that would
create certainty for almost all americans, certainty for almost all small businesses. would help alleviate some of the potential damage caused by -- that could be caused by the fiscal cliff, and would enable us to move forward to address the many other issues that we have that confront us. it would be an excellent way to demonstrate to the american public that after an election where these issues were central to the debate, washington can move forward and we can compromise. >> given the -- everything that's going on with petraeus and allen, is there -- is the president going to ask the national security team to sort of, hey, guys, i know you want to leave, but get me another month or two. >> i really don't have any announcements or hints to make about personnel matters. the president --
>> does he think he can make these changes in the midst of all this right now? >> what changes you are talking about depends on which broadcasts and newspapers you follow, but i'm not going to engage in that kind of speculation. the president has -- knows he has a very strong team in place and will make personnel decision when is appropriate. he'll announce them when he's made them. >> tomorrow? >> i have no personnel announcements to preview. >> does the election change the president's strategy in dealing with republicans on the deficit reduction plan? some of the things he's offered in the past still on the table? >> i think one of the useful things about the -- this past year and the election is that these matters that the president and congress will be key siding -- deciding in the coming days and weeks and months were front and center during the campaign season.
in many ways they have been front and center for the past several years. and the -- why that's useful is we all know what the parameters of a compromise look like. we know what a truly balanced approach to our fiscal challenges looks like. and the president has put forward a very specific plan that will be what he brings to the table when he sits down with congressional leaders. and that's a plan that builds on the $1.1 trillion in spending cuts that he's already signed into law. and finds other savings both in discretionary spending and in our entitlement programs, $340 billion additional savings in our health care entitlement programs, and insist, as the essence of balance, that revenue be included.
$1.6 trillion in revenue. and that approach enables us, when taken as a whole, to reduce our defendants by $4 trillion. begin to really get our fiscal house in order. and allow us to continue to invest in crucial areas of our economy that will help the economy grow in the near term and create jobs in the near term but also build a foundation for economic growth in the future. that's why the president views the issue of deficits and debt not in a vacuum. he does not believe that reducing deficits and debt are values unto themselves. he believes they are part of an approach that is driven by his number one priority, which is economic growth and job creation. and one of the reasons why you need to have balance in the approach you take is to ensure that you can continue to do the
things that help the economy grow, that invest in education, that lead to people being hired to work on building our infrastructure, that ensure we are having investments and innovation and aspects of the economy that will be so important in the 21st century, because if you don't, you have lost sense of your overall purpose here, which is a vibrant american economy that enables americans to find work and work that enables them to live a good life and send their kids to school and take care of their parents. that's the way -- that's the approach the president takes. it's not a pinched view of deficits and debt. it's a broad view of how we need to move forward with the economy. >> does that mean that he's willing to say no to richard who has told his folks to lobby congress not to allow changes in medicare and social security?
>> the president's plan, which i know you all have read in detail, contains within it additional savings in health care programs. $340 over 10 years. -- $340 billion over 10 years. as a whole the plan demonstrates that we can take a balanced approach that if we asked the wealthiest americans to pay a little bit more, we can continue to invest in areas of the economy that need investment, and we don't have to ask seniors or parents of disabled children or the least fortunate among us to bear the burden of getting our fiscal house in order. that was in many ways the essence of the debate we had this past year. >> also on these personal announcements you don't want to talk about, is the president also happy with the job that the also happy with the job that the secretary's done?